WCS recognizes New York City youth as future change makers and leaders. We focus on reaching youth and young adults, ages 14-24, from low-income communities that are underrepresented in STEM fields.
The WCS Career Lattice provides an integrated network of support and professional development to more than 1,300 young people who work, intern and volunteer throughout five WCS parks in Education, Animal Care, Visitor Services, and more. We provide young people with the knowledge, tools and support needed to grow with our organization by ensuring that all youth acquire:
Increased opportunity for professional growth
Greater awareness of STEM career pathways at WCS and beyond
Connection to peers across the organization
Through the WCS Career Lattice, a growing group of diverse, young New Yorkers is gaining the tools to increase STEM literacy and the opportunity to transform their first job into their future career.
See below for a selection of programs that are part of the WCS Career Lattice.
Generous support for the WCS STEM Career Lattice is provided by New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the New York City Council, Fox Corporation, the TD Charitable Foundation, and multiple private foundations.
WCS has launched a partnership with community-based organization HERE to HERE and select public high schools in The Bronx to recruit and support 100 youth in seasonal employment and internships at the Bronx Zoo.
Generous support for the HERE to HERE Bronx Partnership is provided by The James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation.
Youth Employee Advisory Council
WCS created this Council to train young, front-line employees to act as innovators for WCS. Members meet weekly to develop ideas that transform the workplace for both employees and visitors. To date, they have proposed over 400 ideas to improve business practices and workplace conditions.
Generous support for the Youth Employee Advisory Council is provided by The Pinkerton Foundation.
WCS Education provides paid fellowships to students from the City University of New York through the CUNY Service Corps, Culture Corps, and EDGE programs, as well as the Stella and Charles Guttman Community College. CUNY Fellows receive training in science education and assist with school and family programs during the school year.
Summer Conservation Fellows
Each summer, WCS provides over 100 young adults with seasonal, entry-level employment in a host of conservation careers. Youth earn upwards of $3000 in one summer working directly with our Special Animal Exhibits, leading educational activities with our camps, facilitating science activities with visitors at our exhibits, and more.
Teaching Fellowships provide dedicated young adults with a paid, extended experience leading school and family programs throughout the school year, preparing passionate young educators with the skills to work in science education.
“My first job as a teenager was working food service in the Bronx Zoo… Every morning I would get to be inspired by nature. I would get to think about how important wildlife is to our community.” –Dr. Herminia Palacio, NYC Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services